A Day On Maternity Leave

A Day on Maternity LeaveNow that my maternity leave is coming to an end today, I am actually getting to share what a normal day has looked like for me and Brooke. I still can’t believe how fast the time has flown, it feels like yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital, not 12 weeks ago! I will admit that everyday has been different since we brought her home, but a lot of things are the same. We have our own little routine that is flexible, but consistent in its own way.

 

6:00am Brooke starts to move around in her crib. I tend to lay in bed gathering up the energy to go get her from her room until 6:15 (by then she will start to cry a little). My favorite part is getting her out of her Ollie Swaddle. We bundle her up at night, because it helps her sleep so much longer (about 7-8 hours). When I un-velcro the blanket, Brooke stretches really big with her arms and it is just so cute.

 

6:15am Brooke eats, normally spits up all over me, herself and the sheets. Then, I wipe her face, change her diaper and swaddle her up to go back to sleep in her crib.

 

8:00am I normally wake up and go downstairs to get my cup of coffee, then head back upstairs and check my email in bed while watching tv. Sometimes I take a quick shower, other days I wait until the afternoon.

 

9:00am Brooke wakes up and is ready to eat again. She does her normal spit up routine, I change her diaper, and then I put her down on her piano gym to play while I fix my hair and makeup.

 

10:00am If Brooke is still awake, she does some tummy time. Some days she catches a quick morning nap early. I work on a blog post, pay bills and other random things.

 

11:00am Brooke is in fully “nap mode” by this time. She normally starts her morning nap in my lap and then I move her next to me on the couch. This happens because she tends to be a little fussy or gets bad gas and just wants me to hold her. I continue to work on blog stuff or do some online shopping once I put her next to me.

 

12:00pm Lunch time. I try to fix my lunch before Brooke wakes up around 12 – 12:30 wanting her lunch. As soon as we finish lunch, I do the normal change her diaper and then I put her in a cute outfit. Once she is camera ready (kidding – I really mean once she is spit up free), I put her in her carseat and we head to Kevin’s work to spend his lunch break with him.

 

1:00pm During Kevin’s lunch break, we either go walk around the mall or go to a few shops around his work. Sometimes we even just hang out together in the car and chat it up. I love getting to go see him during the day. We don’t do this everyday, but it is my favorite day.

 

2:00pm Brooke and I tend to be on our way back home or going to run other errands we may have. She is normally asleep the majority of the time we are gone, but don’t worry, she spits up in her carseat at least once before we arrive back home. Also, her headband ends up covering her eyes 1 out of 3 times we are in the car.

 

3:00pm Food time again! This girl just eats all the time. Lately, I have been giving her a bottle at this feeding to get her ready for daycare or “school” as I like to call it. After trying out a few different bottles, Brooke loves Avent ones. They are working really good right now, but I want to try comoto ones still too (although I don’t like that they don’t have the ounces marked on the bottle, so I don’t know if I will actually try them).

 

4:00pm After Brooke takes her bottle, I change her diaper and she normally plays for a little bit on her piano gym, does tummy time, and then sits in her 4Moms MamaRoo until she falls asleep around 4:30 – 5:00pm.

 

5:00pm She is still catching some zzzz’s. I work on blog stuff and watch tv because I know she will be waking up any minute.

 

6:00pm She tends to wake up around 5:30-6:00 to eat or if she wakes up a little sooner, I feed her then. This is where our schedule is flexible. She tends to eat every 3ish hours but if we are still running errands or she is sleeping really good, she goes longer. I rarely wake her up to eat. After this feeding, I give her a bath. She loves bath time. She will just lay there smiling, but as soon as I take her out of the tub she screams. Next, I put her in a new onesie or in her jammies. On average Brooke goes through two outfits a day because of spit up, sometimes 3.

 

7:00pm Dinner for the adults is underway, if not finished by 7. Occasionally Kevin will get home later than 7, so dinner will get pushed back. Brooke is normally sleeping or screaming while I make dinner. It is really a toss up. One day she will sit in her mamaroo, one day she will scream insisting I hold her and the next day she will be asleep. Most of the time, she chooses dinnertime as the perfect time for a cry fest, then falls asleep until her next feeding.

 

8:00-10:00pm Kevin and I enjoy time together. We catch up on our tv shows, watch a movie, play video games or just talk. Brooke tends to be sleeping during this time on the couch with us or in her mamaroo.

 

10:00 – 10:30pm Around this time, we make our way upstairs to get ready for bed. I feed Brooke for the last time of the night and change her diaper. Then, we wrap her tight in her Ollie Swaddle (because if not she will bust her arms out – Houdini child), turn her monitor on, and put her in her crib. We like to put her down awake and let her put herself to sleep. We give her goodnight kisses and get in our bed. However, sometimes, Kevin has to go back in and walk around with her a little bit to put her to sleep. He use to do this every night before we put her down, so sometimes she just needs her daddy time again before she goes to sleep.

 

On average, Brooke sleeps about 7-8 hours at night, eats 6-7 times a day, takes naps on her own schedule, gets a little fussy at some points during the day, and spits up a lot (& I mean a lot). I should mention she also occasionally likes to have a blowout on top of the surplus of spit up we clean up on the daily. Its a good thing she is so cute.

 

I know tomorrow will mark a change in our schedule and it will most likely take a few weeks for us to get in the swing of things. I am both sad and happy to be returning to work tomorrow, but more on that in tomorrow’s post. I had the best 12 weeks staying home with Brooke. Its so crazy how much I love that little girl, I am so thankful for her and the blessing she is in my life.

 

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5 Tips for Stress Free Car Selling & Buying

5 Tips for Stress Free Car Selling & BuyingWant a new vehicle, but don’t want to spend all day at a car dealership? Are you nervous about getting a bad deal? Or, do you just not want to go through all the stress? I hear you, and there is no reason why car buying has to be stressful. It is most likely the second largest purchase you make in your life (your house being the first), so you want to be sure you are making a smart decision and it should be fun. Kevin and I just sold my car and bought a new one since our family has grown! The whole process was fun and stress free!

 

Here are my 5 Tips for Stress Free Car Selling & Buying:

 

1. Do Your Homework

On the vehicle you’re selling: You can use Autotrader to get the value of your current car. This will give you an idea of what you might be able to sell your car for and takes all the guessing out of the way.

 

On the vehicle you’re buying: The majority of people buy a car based off of looks, which makes some sense. However,  you want to make sure you compare all of the facts as well. What kind of gas mileage does it get? What are the safety ratings? The questions go on and on, but Autotrader’s Car Research section makes it easy to get all your information in one place.

 

2. Clean The Car You’re Selling This may seem like a strange tip, but trust me, when you are trying to sell your car, you want it to look the best it possibly can. So, give your car a bath, vacuum the inside and take good pictures of it in the sunlight.

 

3. Post On Autotrader Autotrader is a one stop shop if you are getting the picture. You can not only research your car options, but also post your vehicle for sale or get an instant cash offer for your vehicle that you can redeem at any participating dealership.

 

4. Search On Autotrader And, you can not only post your vehicle but you can also search for your next vehicle. This lets you search new or used vehicles in your area. The best part is you can make your search as wide or specific as you want. It will show you vehicles being sold by private parties or by dealerships. This a great tool to find exactly what you want without having to wander lots of car dealerships for hours.

 

5. Be Patient  If you don’t see the exact car you are wanting, be patient. Cars are bought and sold every day. The market is constantly changing and you are going to find the perfect car for you! Don’t forget, this should be fun!!

Clarke TV Lineup

Clarke TV LineupI have to admit, my inspiration for this post came from the amazing tv lineup this week. Can we say Bachelorette, Pretty Little Liars, Deadliest Catch and BIG BROTHER!?!?! Maybe it’s just the maternity leave that has me so excited about the TV lineup, but I doubt it, because I tend to be interested in what shows different people are watching. I enjoy hearing about what other people are watching and which shows are worth my time. Without further ado, here is the Clarke TV Lineup – and I must preface, when I say Clarke, I really just mean my TV lineup because Kevin could be content with the news and sports (although he likes a few shows).

 

Clarke TV Lineup

 

Blacklist

Blacklist starts back up on September 24th and I can’t wait! It is very action packed and I love how each week they are hunting down a new person on their “list”. This keeps it fresh while also leaving you guessing what’s going on in the overall story. Kevin and I are big 24 fans and this show is right up the same alley, except not quite as good as 24. I love Red though.

 

Grey’s Anatomy

Because.. who doesn’t love Grey’s?! I honestly had just seen an episode here and there until last year when I sat down and watched them all in order. I feel in love needless to say and now I can’t wait until it premieres for its 12th season on September 24th as well. I am going to be a busy girl that night! I am hoping the series stays good even though there is no more Derek and Meredith (insert sad face).

 

Pretty Little Liars

Guilty pleasure. I’ll admit, this show might be a little young for me, but it got me hooked and I just want to know who “A” is. I mean c’mon. It drives me crazy on the weekly, I’ll be all like it’s Mona, no it’s Toby, no it’s Ezra ( jk I never thought it was Ezra, except for a fleeting moment when he had all that cash). And, I just love Hannah’s humor – it keeps me locked in.

 

Bachelor/Bachelorette

Another guilty pleasure. Every year I say I’m not going to watch because its so dumb, and every year I watch. I mainly laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and like to see all their outfits. However, the girls have slacked off, I feel like anything is acceptable at a cocktail party nowadays – what happened to the pretty gowns!?!

 

Amazing Race

I rarely run into people who still watch this but I LOVE it!! I love getting to root for a team and see the awesome places they travel. This past season the team I wanted to win actually won. This along with Big Brother are my favorite competition shows.

 

Big Brother

Fav. Fav. Fav. I am so pumped it started again this week. I get so into it. I can’t wait to watch this year play out. I loved who won last season and the twist was interesting. I can’t wait to see what this summer has in store. Plus, I like that it is on several times during the week.

 

Deadliest Catch

This is more of a me and Kevin show. I probably wouldn’t watch it without him, but I added it to the list because I enjoy watching it too. The camera angles are what get me the most. It is just amazing what the film crew can catch, I love all of their angles and the scenery.

 

What is in your TV lineup?? I would love to hear!

 

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10 Verses on God’s Love

10 Verses on God's Love10 Verses on God’s Love

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 

 

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. – 1 John 4:16

 

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103: 11-12

 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved – Ephesians 2:4-5

 

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. – Psalm 86:15

 

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:9-11

 

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. – 1 John 3:1

 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7

 

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Birthday Weekend Recap

IMG_5146My original plan was to write about my weekend on Monday, but life with an 11 week old doesn’t always quite go as planned. Last week, my cousins officially moved to San Antonio, so I got to spend a lot of time with them. I loved having them at our house and Friday, they watched Brooke while I ran errands for the weekend. It was so amazing how much quicker you can run errands without a baby, plus it was pouring rain, so I was VERY grateful for their help.

 

IMG_5110Kevin’s parents arrived late Friday night and we pretty much just stayed up talking until past midnight. The next morning was my birthday, yay! My parents arrived and we all headed to the mall for some shopping. We had to make the trip rather quick, because we had to get back to the house to get ready for Brooke’s baby blessing at church. However, I still got a new Kate Spade watch, Kate Spade sunglasses, Kendra Scott bracelet, a tee from Loft and a dress from Loft on our shopping trip.

 

IMG_5137After a quick lunch stop at Chick-fi-la, we headed home and got Brooke dressed in her adorable pink and white stripe dress for her blessing. The rest of us got ready too and headed to church. Kevin’s sisters met us at the church and surprised us. We were so excited they got to be there for Brooke’s dedication. It was sweet of them to drive all the way to San Antonio to be there for her. The service was nice and Brooke looked adorable.

 

IMG_5134After the service, we headed to Outback for my birthday dinner and my cousins met us there. The food was delicious and the company was even better. I had such a great day celebrating my birthday and Brooke. We headed back to our house for strawberry cupcakes after dinner and spent the rest of the night talking. Brooke got extremely fussy for a good part of the night but then got snuggled up next to me and life was good.

 

IMG_5130The next morning it was Father’s Day! I gave Kevin his First Father’s Day gift in bed and then we went downstairs and gave our dad’s their gifts. It was so great getting to celebrate with everyone. The guys went and got donuts and the girls started getting ready to go out for lunch. We ended up at Grimaldi’s for lunch and had a great time despite the awful weather. We were sad to see our parents go after lunch. We had such a great weekend with them. Kevin and I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home. I am so thankful for our little family and the great weekend we had!

 

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